Sidebar Harbor Management Plan- Chapter Five

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CHAPTER FIVE: RESPONSIBILITIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

This chapter describes responsibilities and recommendations for implementing the City of Middletown’s waterfront and harbor management goals, objectives, policies and other provisions presented in chapters two, three and four of the Harbor Management Plan. Some of those Plan provisions can be realized in the near future; others will require a longer period of time to achieve. Also, conditions on the Middletown waterfront and in the Harbor Management Area (HMA) will continue to change over time, as will public understanding of those conditions. As a result, the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan will likely require updating or amendment in the future. It is therefore important that the City’s waterfront improvement and harbor management efforts be considered part of an on-going, evolving process; those efforts should be incorporated into the coordinated actions of all City, State and Federal agencies with programs and authorities that affect the Middletown waterfront and HMA.

The responsibilities and recommendations in this chapter are presented with respect to; 1) the Mayor of Middletown; 2) the Middletown Common Council; 3) the Middletown Harbor Improvement Agency; 4) other City agencies; 5) the Middletown Harbormaster; 6) State and Federal government agencies; and 7) the general public, waterfront property owners and private organizations. The order in which the responsibilities and recommendations are presented does not imply priority.

MAYOR OF MIDDLETOWN

As Middletown’s Chief Executive Officer acting in coordination with the Common Council, the Mayor should provide leadership and support for implementing the Harbor Management Plan. The Mayor should encourage an active, ongoing City role for managing the waterfront and Harbor Management Area in accordance with Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code and the legislative intent of the Connecticut Harbor Management Act. The Mayor’s powers and duties specified in Chapter IV of the City Charter should be carried out in a manner that contributes to Plan implementation.

The Mayor should contribute to implementation of the Harbor Management Plan through:

  1. Appointment of the members of the Harbor Improvement Agency.

    As specified in Section 26-12(a) of the Middletown Code, all members of the nine-member Harbor Improvement Agency, excepting two members from the Common Council, are appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Council. To help ensure that the Agency functions most effectively, the Mayor should fill vacant positions that arise on the Agency in a timely manner and with well-qualified candidates.

  2. Coordination for achieving the City’s Waterfront Vision.

    The Mayor should provide leadership for achievement of the City’s Waterfront Vision as articulated through provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and Middletown’s Plan of Conservation and Development. The Mayor should work to ensure that all City commissions and departments, including the Harbor Improvement Agency, actively pursue achievement of the Waterfront Vision in the most coordinated and efficient manner, in accordance with the established mandates of each commission and department.

  3. Encouragement and support of special projects for waterfront improvement and harbor management.

    The Mayor should encourage and support implementation of the special projects and other initiatives for waterfront improvement and harbor management as recommended in the Harbor Management Plan and Plan of Conservation and Development. Examples include projects described in Chapter Four of the Harbor Management Plan for expansion of Harborpark, improved pedestrian and vehicle access from Downtown Middletown to the Connecticut River across Route 9, streambank protection and restoration, development of a public boat launching facility; and other projects in the public interest. The Mayor also may propose and support other projects to achieve the City’s Waterfront Vision. The expressed through requests for funds included in the annual budget request submitted by the Mayor to the Common Council and through exercise of other mayoral responsibilities, including any negotiations for the City’s purchase of property adjoining and near the Harbor Management Area.

MIDDLETOWN COMMON COUNCIL

As the City of Middletown’s legislative body, the Common Council should provide leadership and support for implementing the Harbor Management Plan. Inc accordance with Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code and Section 22a – 113m of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Council is responsible for adopting the Plan and any future Plan amendments. In addition, the Council’s powers and duties specified in Chapter III of the City Charter should be carried out in a manner that contributes to Plan implementation.

The Council should contribute to implementation of the Harbor Management Plan through:

  1. Confirmation of qualified appointments to the Harbor Improvement Agency: appointment of two Council members to serve on the Agency.

    As specified in Section 26-12 (a) of the Middletown Code, all members of the nine-member Middletown Harbor Improvement Agency, excepting two members from the Common Council, are appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Council. To help ensure that the Agency functions most effectively, the Council should confirm appointments of qualified members in a timely manner. Section 26-12(a) specifies that two members of the Council are to be appointed by the Council to serve on the Harbor Improvement Agency during their terms on the Council. Those Council members should facilitate continuous communication and coordination between the Council and Agency.

  2. Adoption of the Harbor Management Plan and any future Plan amendments needed to respond to changing conditions and circumstances.

    Section 22a – 113m of the Connecticut General Statutes specifies the procedure for approval and adoption of municipal harbor management plans. In accordance with this procedure, the Middletown Harbor Management Plan, and any future amendments to the Plan, must be reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, approved by the Connecticut commissioners of environmental protection and transportation and then adopted by the Common Council before becoming effective.

    So that the City of Middletown may plan and manage use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area to the maximum extent permissible under City, State and Federal law, the Council should adopt the Harbor Management Plan to serve as the City’s principal guide (in coordination with the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development) for beneficial use of the waterfront and HMA and protection of environmental quality in the HMA. Any appropriate Plan amendments that may be prepared by the Harbor Improvement Agency in the future should be adopted by the Council following the same procedure used to adopt the Plan. The Council’s adoption of the Plan and any future Plan amendments should be noted in Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code of Ordinances.

  3. Amendment of the Middletown Code, as necessary, to achieve City goals for waterfront improvement and harbor management.

    The Common Council should amend the Middletown Code, as necessary, to achieve City goals for waterfront improvement and harbor management as established in the Harbor Management Plan. In this regard, the Council should consider proposed Code amendments that may be suggested by the Harbor Improvement Agency for implementing certain provisions of the Plan. Code amendments may include, for example, City regulations concerning public safety on the waterfront and in the Harbor Management Area establishment of a Harbor Management Account in the City’s General Fund, and establishment of requirements for the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process whereby City commissions and departments with authority to approve proposals affecting the HMA must refer those proposals to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and comments. Authority for this review process is specified in Section 22a – 113p of the Connecticut General Statutes.

  4. Establishment of a Harbor Management Account (within the City’s General Fund) to be used exclusively for purposes of harbor management and improvement.

    Section 22a – 113s of the Connecticut General Statutes enables a municipality with an adopted harbor management plan to establish a special fund to be used specifically for harbor management purposes. That section also enables the City to establish fees for any activity within the scope of the Harbor Management Plan and specifies that such fees be deposited into the special fund. In accordance with its responsibilities for the finances of the City, the Common Council should approve the establishment of a special City account (within the City’s General Fund) to be used for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes. Those purposes should be recommended by the Harbor Improvement Agency and subject to approval by the Council.

  5. Encouragement and support of special projects for waterfront improvement and harbor management.

    The Common Council, through its decisions affecting the capital and operating budgets of City agencies and through resolutions adopted by the Council, should encourage and support implementation of the special projects and other initiatives for waterfront improvement and harbor management recommended in the Harbor Management Plan and the City’s Plan of Conservation and Development. Examples include projects described in Chapter Four of the Harbor Management Plan for expansion of Harborpark, improved pedestrian and vehicle access from Downtown Middletown to the Connecticut River across Route 9, streambank protection and restoration, development of a public boat launching facility; and other projects in the public interest.

MIDDLETOWN HARBOR IMPROVEMENT AGENCY

In accordance with its powers, duties and responsibilities authorized by the Connecticut Harbor Management Act (Section 22a – 113k thought 22a – 113t of the Connecticut General Statutes) and Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code, the Harbor Improvement Agency should carry out all of the powers and duties granted to municipal harbor management commissions through the Harbor Management Act, as well as other powers and duties granted to the Agency by the Middletown Common Council.

The Harbor Improvement Agency is responsible for:

  1. Planning and management of uses and activities on the waterfront and in the Harbor Management Area to the maximum extent permissible under City, State and Federal law.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency’s powers, duties and responsibilities as the City’s Harbor Management Commission are authorized by the Connecticut General Statutes and established by ordinance in Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code of Ordinances. Consistent with its powers and duties, the Agency will carry out the City’s most direct responsibilities for managing the Middletown Harbor Management Area, including responsibilities for implementing the Harbor Management Plan. These responsibilities should be carried out in addition to and in coordination with the Agency’s other powers and duties also established in Section 26-12 of the Middletown Code, including the duty to initiate and implement plans, specifications and estimates for the full development and beautification of the City’s Connecticut River waterfront.

    The Agency may make use of committees as necessary to carry out its powers, duties and responsibilities in the most efficient manner, including committees to address budget and financial matters, to review proposals affecting the waterfront and HMA for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan and to address other Agency functions.

    Through implementation of the Harbor Management Plan and according to the legislative intent of the Connecticut Harbor Management Act, the Agency will work to continue to expand the City’s role, relative to State and Federal authorities, for planning, managing and regulating actions affecting the Middletown waterfront and HMA.

  2. Ongoing coordination with City, State and Federal agencies for waterfront improvement and harbor management.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will assist in the coordination of all public and private agencies and organizations with authorities or interests concerning the waterfront and Harbor Management Area, including the agencies and organizations noted in Chapter One of the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency will maintain regular communication and liaison with the various City agencies with relevant authorities or interests, including the Planning and Zoning Commission, Department of Planning, Conservation and Development, Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Water and Sewer Department, Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department, Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency.

    In addition, the Harbor Improvement Agency will maintain regular communication and liaison with various divisions and units of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and other relevant State and Federal agencies, as necessary. (See the section on State and Federal Agencies with Harbor Management Authorities.)

    The purpose of the Harbor Improvement’s Agency’s communication and liaison with City, State and Federal agencies will be to address matters affecting implementation of the Harbor Management Plan and, in general, to help achieve the City’s waterfront improvement and harbor management goals.

  3. Actions to ensure continued boating and navigation safety in the Harbor Management Area.

    Acting in coordination with the Middletown Harbormaster, Middletown Police Department, Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Protection and other involved agencies as necessary, the Harbor Improvement Agency will support and promote boating and navigation safety in the Harbor Management Area. To help ensure continued boating and navigation safety, the Agency will:

    1. Prepare recommendations for City ordinances pertaining to boating safety, waterfront use and harbor management, as needed, and submit the recommendations to the Common Council for consideration.

      Section 15-136 of the Connecticut General Statutes enables the City to adopt local regulations respecting the operation of vessels within the Harbor Management Area. In addition, Section 22a – 113n of the Connecticut General Statutes enables the City to adopt ordinances to implement the Harbor Management Plan. Using this authority, the Agency may recommend City Code changes to address boating, navigation, waterfront use and other concerns, as needed, and provide those recommendations to the Common Council for consideration and adoption. (See No. 3 in the preceding section on the Middletown Common Council.)

    2. Review the adequacy of aids to navigation in and near the Harbor Management Area.

      The Agency may regularly assess the adequacy of Federal aids to navigation in the Harbor Management Area and transmit the results of that assessment to the Coast Guard. With assistance from the Harbormaster and Police Department’s Marine Patrol, the Agency may oversee an annual review of the number, type, location and condition of Federal aids to navigation in the HMA. The Agency may also comment on the adequacy of aids to navigation upstream and downstream in the Connecticut River as those aids may affect the passage of vessels to and from Middletown. The Agency may provide the results of its review to the appropriate Coast Guard office and request maintenance of existing aids and placement of any additional Federal channel markers that may be necessary.

      In addition, the Agency will review the proposed placement of all “private” (nonfederal) aids to navigation in the HMA. As necessary, the Agency may consider, recommend and direct the placement (following receipt of necessary State and Federal permits) of private aids to navigation to maintain and improve navigation ease and safety in the HMA.

    3. Designate navigation fairways as needed and ensure that designated fairways are kept free of obstructions. Navigation fairways to be kept free of obstructions may be designated by the Agency, where necessary, to ensure safe passage of recreational and commercial vessels to, from and alongside the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel and boating activity areas in the Harbor Management Area (including any docking and launching areas on the City’s waterfront). Any designated fairway will be shown on a map of the HMA included in the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency should review proposed actions affecting the HMA to ensure that navigation fairways, including fairways in the area of Harborpark and between any boat launching and docking areas and the Federal channel, are kept free of obstructions.

    4. Evaluate the appropriate extent to which docks and piers should extend from shore to reach navigable water.

      In accordance with the City’s harbor management policies established in Chapter Three of the Harbor Management Plan, review of proposed in-water structures (i.e., docks and piers) should be carried out taking into consideration the riparian rights of waterfront property owners, the Public Trust Doctrine, existing conditions such as distance from shore to navigable water, location of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel, relevant State and Federal resource protection laws and other relevant conditions. The Agency’s recommendations concerning the appropriate distance that docks and piers should extend from the shore to reach navigable water should a major consideration in the decisions of State and Federal permitting agencies. (See the section on State and Federal Agencies with Harbor Management Authorities.)

      The Agency will review proposed actions affecting the Harbor Management Area to help ensure that no structures in the City’s Connecticut River jurisdiction, nor any vessels attached to those structures, encroach upon the Federal navigation channel of 150 feet in width. The agency will recommend appropriate distances that all structures should be set back from the boundaries of the navigation channel, including the boundaries of designated bar channels and the normally used natural channel, following guidelines established in the Harbor Management Plan. Exceptions to these guidelines may be recommended by the Agency when there are compelling reasons to do so, and when potential adverse impacts of the proposed in-water structures are avoided or minimized.

    5. Support for dredging of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel, as needed.

      The Agency will serve as an advocate for dredging of the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel and hear comments from recreational and commercial users of the channel in the Harbor Management Area concerning the need for dredging; as that need may arise. The Agency will work in coordination with the Corps of Engineers, Connecticut DEP, and other Connecticut River towns to identify future maintenance dredging needs in the Federal channel and to support initiation and completion of environmental assessments and other pre-dredging requirements to allow dredging to occur in the most timely manner when and if such dredging becomes necessary.

    6. Review the condition and operation of bridges crossing the Harbor Management Area.

      The condition and operation of all bridges crossing the Harbor Management Area, including the Arrigoni and railroad bridges across the Connecticut River and the Route 9 and railroad bridges across the Mattabesset River will be reviewed by the Agency on a regular basis, based on observations and on communication with the agencies responsible for bridge repair and maintenance. This review will be conducted to help avoid any adverse impacts on the HMA, including impacts on navigation and water quality, caused by use, maintenance and repair of the bridges. Any apparent deficiencies, along with any suggestions for improved bridge use and maintenance, will be brought to the attention of the appropriate agencies and officials.

    7. Support and cooperate with State and Federal agencies to identify and eliminate any unauthorized encroachments in the Harbor Management Area.

      In accordance with the Harbor Management Plan, any unauthorized structure (including docks, piers, bulkheads, pilings and moorings) and other work (including unauthorized fill) extending into the Connecticut River Federal navigation channel or into any other areas of the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug Rivers waterward of the high tide line at Middletown should be eliminated or otherwise corrected. Any existing unauthorized encroachments (those pre-dating the effective date of the Harbor Management Plan and identified either prior to, or after the effective date of the Plan) should be evaluated individually by the accountable State and/or Federal regulatory agency, with appropriate input from the Agency. Specific measures should be developed to remove or otherwise correct these existing violations.

      The Agency will work in coordination with the appropriate State and Federal authorities to ensure that future unauthorized encroachments constructed or occurring after the effective date of the Harbor Management Plan are eliminated by the offending party without delay. The Agency will discourage the issuance of “after-the-fact” permits that would bring future unauthorized encroachments into compliance, unless there are compelling, clearly demonstrated reasons to do so.

  4. Adoption and amendment of administrative rules and procedures for waterfront and harbor management.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will adopt and amend (as necessary) administrative rules and procedures (bylaws) to guide its various activities, including review of applications referred to the Agency by City, State and Federal agencies and other Agency activities for implementing the Harbor Management Plan. The bylaws will address the duties and election of the Agency’s officers, the functioning of standing committees of the Agency, the conduct of meetings and hearings of the Agency and the functioning of the Agency when exercising its harbor improvement powers and duties and when exercising its responsibilities as Middletown’s Harbor Management Commission.

  5. Implementation of a “Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process” to review all proposals potentially affecting the Harbor Management Area and to determine the consistency of those proposals with the Harbor Management Plan.

    With authority provided by Section 22a – 113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Harbor Improvement Agency will review proposals affecting real property on, in, or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area and determine the consistency of those proposals with the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency will develop and apply specific procedures when reviewing proposals referred to the Agency by: 1) City agencies; 2) the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; and 3) the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The Agency may establish an Application Review Committee to review proposals subject to the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process and prepare recommendations for consideration by the full Agency. The Agency may recommend that the reviewed proposal be approved, denied, or approved with conditions; the Agency’s recommendations must be given major consideration by the approving agency. The Review Process will be carried out within the framework of the existing City, State and Federal approval processes so as not to add additional time to these already-established processes.

    1. The Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process will include review of proposals submitted to City of Middletown agencies for approval as well as proposals prepared by City commissions and departments.

      In accordance with authority provided by Section 22a – 113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Harbor Improvement Agency (in its role as the City’s Harbor Management Commission) may review and make recommendations, consistent with the Harbor Management Plan, on any proposal affecting real property on, in, or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area that is received by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Department of Planning, Conservation and Development, Zoning Board of Appeals, Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Water and Sewer Department, Health Department, Conservation Commission, Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency and other City agencies.

      The following proposals submitted to or prepared by the above-noted City agencies will be referred by those agencies to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and determination of consistency with the Harbor Management Plan:

      1. All development proposals requiring approval by any City agency with zoning or land use authority and located on real property on, in, or contiguous to the HMA.

      2. All development proposals prepared by City agencies and located on real property on, in or contiguous to the HMA.

      3. All activities involving placement of temporary or permanent structure (e.g., docks, floats, piers), dredging, filling, or other activities waterward of the ordinary high water line.

      4. All proposed revisions or amendments to City plans, rules, or regulations affecting real property on, in or contiguous to the HMA.

        In accordance with Section 22a-113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, each City agency must refer all proposals subject to the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process to the Harbor Improvement Agency at least thirty-five days prior to any City hearing on the proposal. If no hearing is to be held, the approving City agency must notify the Harbor Improvement Agency at least thirty-five days prior to any final action on the proposal taken by the approving City agency.

        The Harbor Improvement Agency will review referred proposals for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan and determine if the proposal is consistent with the Plan. The Agency will provide its consistency finding to the approving City agency within the thirty-five day period, either prior to or during any public hearing on the proposed action. If a public hearing is not held, the Agency will provide its comments prior to final action by the approving agency. Failure of the Agency to provide a recommendation to the approving agency will, in accordance with Section 22a-113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, be considered as approval of the proposal.

        When reviewing a proposal for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan, the Harbor Improvement Agency will consider whether the proposal is consistent with the Plan’s goals, objectives, policies and other provisions.

        The approving agency must consider the comments and recommendations of the Harbor Improvement Agency. As required by Section 22a-113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, if the Agency finds that a proposal is inconsistent with the Harbor Management Plan, then the proposal can not be approved unless the approving City agency acts to over-ride the Harbor Improvement Agency’s finding by a two-thirds vote (instead of a simple majority). This “two-thirds” requirement does not alter the authority of the City agency having primary jurisdiction over the proposal to deny, modify or condition a proposal that has received an unfavorable recommendation from the Harbor Improvement Agency.

        It should be the responsibility of project applicants to provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with the information necessary to adequately assess the potential impacts of proposed projects on the HMA and the consistency of such proposals with the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency may request that an applicant provide specific information addressing the consistency of the proposal with the Harbor Management Plan.

        All applicants whose proposals are reviewed by the Harbor Improvement Agency will be provided an opportunity to describe the proposal to the Agency and answer any questions posed by the Agency. Members of the public will be afforded an appropriate opportunity to speak in favor of, or in opposition to, a proposal as it relates to the Harbor Management Plan.

        Whenever possible, the Agency will, along with its recommendation for approval or disapproval, prepare written comments on any proposal it reviews for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan. A recommendation may include suggested conditions or modifications that would make an otherwise unacceptable proposal consistent with the Plan. All recommendations by the Agency, including suggested proposal modifications and conditions, will be prepared with reference to the relevant chapters and pages of the Harbor Management Plan.

        In addition, just as the activities of private individuals should be consistent with the Harbor Management Plan, so should activities of the City. Therefore, all City commissions and departments should work cooperatively with the Harbor Improvement Agency when developing any plans for City-sponsored projects or other initiatives that may affect the HMA. Plans for City-sponsored initiatives should be submitted to the Agency for review as part of the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process.

    2. The Review Process will include the review of applications to the State Department of Environmental Protection

      All proposals involving filling, dredging of placement of structures waterward of the ordinary high water line in the Harbor Management Area must be submitted by the project proponent to the DEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs for review and approval. To help ensure that State decisions affecting the HMA are consistent with the Harbor Management Plan, the DEP will provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with the public notices of applications for filling, dredging, or placement of in-water structures in the HMA. (A copy of the full permit application will be provided to the Agency by the applicant prior to or at the same time as the applicant submits the application to the DEP). After conducting a formal review of the application, the Agency will provide comments to the DEP, as necessary, on the consistency of the application with the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency’s review will be conducted in a manner similar to that previously described with respect to proposals submitted to or prepared by City agencies.

      Also, proposals prepared by State agencies and affecting the HMA should be designed for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan, and will be reviewed by the Harbor Improvement Agency for consistency with the Plan.

    3. The Review Process will include review of applications to the Corps of Engineers.

      Proposals involving filling, dredging or placement of structures waterward of the mean high water line in the Harbor Management Area must be submitted by the proponent to the Corps of Engineers for review and approval with respect to Federal laws and regulations. In coordination with this Federal review, the Corps should provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with the public notices of applications for filling, dredging, or placement of in-water structures in the HMA. After conducting a formal review of the application, the Agency will provide comments to the Corps, as necessary, on the consistency of the application with the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency’s review will be conducted in a manner similar to that described above with respect to proposals submitted to or prepared by City and State agencies.

      Also, proposals prepared by Federal agencies and affecting the HMA should be designed for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan and will be reviewed by the Harbor Improvement Agency for consistency with the Plan.

  6. On-going examination of the effectiveness of the Harbor Management Plan and conditions on the waterfront and in the Harbor Management Area; preparation of proposed amendments to the Plan and/or City ordinances for implementing the Plan, as necessary.

    The Harbor Management Plan will be amended, as needed, to respond to changing circumstances affecting the Harbor Management Area. Throughout the course of the year, members of the Harbor Improvement Agency will observe conditions and activities in the Harbor Management Area and consider how well the Plan is functioning with respect to those conditions and activities. Any observed problems will be discussed at the Agency’s regularly scheduled monthly meetings. City officials and representatives and the general public will be encouraged to attend Agency meetings and to express any comments or observations they may have regarding the Plan and its effectiveness.

    1. Annual Plan review.

      Each year the Agency may hold a formal review meeting to determine if any changes to the Plan are required. The Agency may consider any physical or institutional changes affecting the waterfront and HMA that have taken place during the previous year, including development proposals, new development, physical changes caused by forces of nature, improvement or degradation of environmental quality and any new plans or requirements established by City, State or Federal Agencies.

    2. Specific actions to amend the Plan and/or city ordinances for implementing the Plan.

      If the Agency determines that some aspect of the Plan should be amended, it will carry out the following steps:

      1. Prepare recommended changes to the Plan, including any text and map changes.

      2. Obtain public comments on the proposed changes.

      3. Submit the proposed changes to the Corps of Engineers for review and to the Connecticut departments of environmental protection and transportation for review and approval.

      4. Make any changes to the Plan document following review of public comments and comments from the Corps, DEP and DOT.

      5. Adopt the changes.

      6. Submit the changes to the Common Council for adoption by the Council.

        Changes to the Middletown Code of ordinances that may be needed to implement aspects of the Plan will be undertaken in accordance with the procedure specified in the Code and in Section 15-136 of the Connecticut General Statutes concerning adoption of local ordinances pertaining to the operation of vessels.

        The Agency need not be restricted to any specific time period for making changes to the Plan.

        If unusual circumstances arise that demand immediate modification of the Plan, the Agency may initiate the review and revision process at any time.

    3. Preparation of an annual “Harbor Management Plan Addendum” as needed.

      Instead of rewriting and reprinting the entire Harbor Management Plan each year to incorporate the results of the annual Plan review, the Agency may prepare a Plan Addendum to summarize the more significant changes that have taken place and to present any proposed amendments to the Plan’s goals, objectives, policies and other provisions. As its resources may allow, the Agency will periodically publish a revised Plan document to incorporate updated descriptions of all waterfront and HMA conditions that have changed since the Plan was adopted, as well as any Plan amendments that may be adopted in the future.

  7. Review of actions by the Middletown Harbormaster.

    Any person aggrieved by a decision or action of the State of Connecticut Harbormaster for Middletown may present his or her concerns to the Harbor Improvement Agency. At a regular or special meeting, the Agency may review the decision or action of concern and provide an opportunity for all involved parties to present relevant information.

    While there is no authority provided in the Connecticut General Statutes for a municipal agency to overturn harbormaster decisions or to act as an appeals board with regard to those decisions, the Harbor Improvement Agency can hear any local concerns with regard to the Harbormaster’s actions. The Agency will attempt to resolve those concerns without usurping the Harbormaster’s authority and then, if necessary, bring those concerns to the attention of the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aviation and Ports for any corrective action that may be necessary.

  8. Provision of recommendations to the Governor for appointment of the Harbormaster.

    The Middletown Harbormaster is appointed by the Governor for a three-year term and until a successor is appointed. Section 15-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that the appointment of the harbormaster and deputy harbormaster for any municipality with an adopted harbor management plan shall be made by the Governor from a list of not less than three nominees submitted by that municipality’s harbor management commission. Accordingly, the Harbor Improvement Agency will provide the Governor with recommendations for appointment of the Middletown Harbormaster as necessary.

  9. Advisory participation in all City-supported planning and development initiatives affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

    In accordance with the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process, the Harbor Improvement Agency should serve in an advisory capacity to any City agency initiating a planning or development action with a torrential impact on the waterfront and/or Harbor Management Area. The Agency will provide information, as necessary, on how the proposed project can best be planned and implemented to achieve consistency with the Harbor Management Plan. The Agency’s advisory comments can help to avoid (before the proposal is finalized) any potential concerns or conflicts. Another important purpose of the Agency’s involvement will be to help establish and maintain a spirit of cooperation and coordination among all City agencies with authorities that directly and indirectly affect the waterfront and HMA.

  10. Support and promotion of activities to increase “waterfront and harbor awareness” and to educate the public concerning waterfront improvement and harbor management initiatives.

    Effective management of the City’s waterfront and Harbor Management Area and achievement of the City’s Waterfront Vision require ongoing public support and involvement. In addition to providing a continuing forum for the expression of public concerns, the Harbor Improvement Agency will support and promote special programs and events that will stimulate public interest and community involvement in matters pertaining to the waterfront and HMA. For example, the Agency can help to organize volunteer efforts to help maintain and clean up, when necessary, areas adjoining and visible from the waterfront and HMA. In addition, the Agency can support use of Harborpark for special educational programs and events that increase awareness of the natural history of the Connecticut River and the City’s Connecticut River heritage, or that provide for other beneficial public activities on the waterfront.

    The Agency, through press releases, public information materials and other means, will take an active role to inform and educate boaters and others about the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and conditions in the HMA. The Agency will also b a source of information to citizens and organizations planning activities that would affect the HMA, including citizens and organizations not familiar with the requirements of State and Federal permitting programs and the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan.

    The Agency will promote beneficial programs that will educate the public with regard to proper use and protection of waterfront and HMA resources in accordance with the Harbor Management Plan. Each year the Agency may hold a “State of the Waterfront” meeting to provide information to the public and hear public comments concerning the Plan, HMA and waterfront.

    Informational materials prepared by the Agency for public distribution may be used to highlight the major elements of the Harbor Management Plan, provide information on waterfront and HMA rules and regulations, promote waterfront attractions for visiting boaters and provide information on other waterfront and harbor management related topics.

  11. Administration and application of funds for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will work with the Mayor and Common Council to administer and apply funds for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes, consistent with the Agency’s authorized powers and duties and with the Harbor Management Plan.

    1. Establishment of Harbor Management Account.

      With authority provided by Section 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statutes, a special account will be maintained within the City’s General Fund to receive and expend monies for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes recommended by the Harbor Improvement Agency and subject to necessary approval by the Common Council.

      Section 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statutes gives the Agency (acting in its capacity as the City’s Harbor Management Commission) authority to propose a fee schedule for any activity within the scope of the Harbor Management Plan. Collected fees must be deposited into the Harbor Management Account and used for maintenance and improvement of the Harbor Management Area for the public and for necessary expenses for personnel and equipment directly related to the functions of the Agency and Middletown Harbormaster. The Agency will regularly report to the Common Council on the status, use and application of all mines from the City’s Harbor Management Account.

    2. Identify and pursue potential sources of funds for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes.

      The Agency will evaluate potential funding sources and pursue funds for operating expenses and special projects. Potential sources of funds to be considered may include but are not limited to:

      • Fees from an concessionaires and lessees who may provide specified waterfront facilities and services in accordance with agreements with the City;
      • Appropriations from the City’s General Fund;
      • Fines for violations of City rules and regulations pertaining to the waterfront and HMA;
      • Donations;
      • Grants obtained from State and Federal government and private sources;
      • Boat registration fees received by the City from the State of Connecticut in accordance with Section 15-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
      • Any boat launching, docking or mooring permits that may be issued by the City and/or Harbormaster; and
      • Fees for use of Harborpark by groups and organizations, including use for special events.
    3. Preparation and review of annual operating budget.

      The Agency will prepare, for presentation to the Mayor and Common Council, an annual operating budget including an estimate of revenues and expenses. Items for which the Agency may need to expend funds include, but are not necessarily limited to:

      • Postage;
      • Printing and photocopying;
      • Legal advertisements;
      • Secretarial services;
      • Telephone expenses;
      • Preparation of informational/educational materials regarding the waterfront and HMA;
      • Investigations and studies of waterfront and HMA conditions;
      • Compensation to the Harbormaster for duties to assist the Agency;
      • Conferences and other educational programs that Agency members may attend;
      • Purchase and maintenance of private aids to navigation;
      • Printing and distribution of the Harbor Management Plan;
      • Emergency removal of unsafe or abandoned structures and vessels;
      • Special waterfront improvement and harbor management projects consistent with the Harbor Management Plan; and
      • Fees for staff and consultants retained to assist with implementation of the Plan and special waterfront improvement and harbor management projects.
  12. Coordination of harbor management initiatives with other communities in the Connecticut River watershed, including Portland, Cromwell, East Hampton and Haddam.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will coordinate its planning and management activities, to the extent practical, with other communities in the Connecticut River watershed, including the communities of Portland, Cromwell, East Hampton and Haddam with jurisdictions adjoining the Middletown Harbor Management Area. The purpose of this coordination will be to address issues of common concern, including issues concerning water quality, boating, safety, special water and waterfront events, dredging of the Connecticut River navigation channel and implementation of the Connecticut River Action Plan of the American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

    The Agency will establish specific liaison procedures, including regular exchange of meeting agendas and minutes, with the communities adjoining the HMA. In addition, the Agency may organize special meetings and cooperative study initiatives with the adjoining municipalities, as necessary, to discuss issues of common concern affecting the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug rivers. The Agency also will seek and consider comments from the adjoining municipalities in the course of preparing any future amendments to the Harbor Management Plan.

  13. Maintenance of a database of information and materials pertaining to the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will oversee a City database containing information and materials pertaining to the waterfront and Harbor Management Area. The database will be maintained in the office of the City’s Department of Planning, Conservation and Development or other designated Town facility. The database will serve as a source of information on existing and historic conditions on the waterfront and in the HMA and can be used by the Agency when making decisions pertaining to the HMA and when developing programs to increase waterfront and harbor awareness. Included in the database should be information on docks, piers and other structures waterward of the ordinary high water line, as well as all applications for City, State and Federal permits reviewed by the Agency. The database should also include reports, documents, studies and photographs pertaining to the waterfront and HMA and a compilation of all applicable City, State and Federal laws, regulations and policies pertaining to management of the HMA. The Agency may establish a committee to work with the Department of Planning, Conservation and Development to help organize and maintain the database.

  14. Pursuit of grants for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes. The Harbor Improvement Agency, with assistance from the Department of Planning, Conservation and Development will pursue governmental and private grants to help fund waterfront improvement and harbor management projects. The Harbor Management Plan provides the basis for a number of projects potentially eligible for State and Federal grants, including grants available through the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s River Restoration Program and a number of Federal programs identified through the American Heritage Rivers Initiative. Water quality improvement projects, implementation of public access projects (including projects to connect Downtown Middletown with the Connecticut River), waterfront beautification projects and education and outreach programs to increase public awareness of harbor management concerns and support for the Harbor Management Plan are examples of potentially eligible projects.
  15. Ongoing study of waterfront and Harbor Management Area conditions to provide useful information for decision-making and other management purposes.

    The Harbor Management Plan establishes a City planning and management framework to be built upon in the future. To be effective, the Plan should be considered part of an ongoing process that will continue to evolve in the future as the City pursues various projects and initiatives to enhance beneficial use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

    Conditions in the HMA, particularly conditions pertaining to uses and activities and the “institutional framework: for harbor management summarized in Chapter One of the Harbor Management Plan, are continually changing. Some of the changes that will occur will affect the goals, objectives, policies and other provisions of the Plan. As a result, it will be necessary for the Harbor Improvement Agency to continue to monitor conditions on the waterfront and in the HMA for the purpose of identifying any changes that may influence future management decisions and programs. The Agency also will encourage and support scientific studies and other investigations, including investigations by local high school and college students that will provide useful information for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes.

    The Agency’s continuing investigations may be designed to increase understanding of natural forces and human actions affecting the HMA and to increase understanding of harbor management-related issues and concerns. These investigations should help to provide a solid basis for management decisions and for any future modifications of the Plan’s goals, objectives, policies and other provisions that may be necessary.

  16. Encouragement of the presentation and discussion of public concerns related to the waterfront, Harbor Management Area and Harbor Management Plan.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will provide opportunities for citizens to express their waterfront and harbor management related questions, concerns or suggestions. Providing a continuing forum for the expression of public concerns should help the Agency identify changing conditions and circumstances affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area. This forum is also needed to help develop public awareness of waterfront improvement and harbor management goals and to maintain a base of public support for management programs and special projects. Each year the Agency may hold a special public meeting – a “State of the Waterfront” meeting – to hear the concerns, questions, and thoughts of City residents, waterfront property owners, water-dependent facility operators and others concerning the waterfront, HMA and Harbor Management Plan.

  17. Active role for addressing water quality issues affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

    Due to the significance of water quality issues, including the adverse effects that water pollution can have on beneficial use and enjoyment of the City’s waterfront and Harbor Management Area, the Harbor Improvement Agency will assume an active role, in coordination with the Public Works Department, Health Department, Middlesex County Soil and Water Conservation District, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and other concerned groups and agencies, with respect to identifying water quality problems and addressing those problems.

    The Agency may support continued water quality monitoring through the Connecticut River Watch Program and the Middlesex County Soil and Water Conservation District and promote expansion of water quality monitoring as necessary. The Agency may consider organizing its own program, in coordination with the Middletown Health Department, to include: 1) identification of storm drains along the City’s waterfront; and 2) collection of discharges from those drains and testing of discharges for bacteria and other contaminants. Water samples can be collected by volunteers following periods of heavy rain to: 1) identify any drains that may be significant contributors of pollution; 2) help determine the correlation between rainfall and increased levels of bacteria in the HMA; and 3) provide information for the application of appropriate technology and other measures to reduce nonpoint source pollution caused by runoff from Downtown and waterfront areas, including Route 9.

  18. Active role for waterfront beautification.

    The scenic quality associated with the Connecticut River is among the most important of City resources. Community development efforts, including Downtown revitalization efforts, will depend in part on maintaining and enhancing waterfront scenic quality which can be affected by in-water and waterfront activities. Among the issues of concern are: the illegal dumping of debris that sometimes occurs along the City’s river banks; deterioration and lack of maintenance of structures and properties near and adjoining the waterfront and Harbor Management Area; and other conditions that obstruct or otherwise detract from views of the Connecticut River and waterfront. In response to these concerns the Harbor Improvement Agency will maintain a leadership role for City efforts to beautify the waterfront. The Agency will coordinate its efforts with other City commissions and civic organizations concerned with waterfront scenic quality. The Agency may assist with the organization of voluntary cleanup efforts as well as community service projects and other initiatives to beautify the waterfront and increase civic pride and responsibility.

  19. Advisory role for managing the operation of Harborpark.

    The Harbor Management Plan includes provisions for beneficial public use of Harborpark – the City’s principal area for visual and physical access to the Harbor Management Area. To help ensure consistency between the provisions of the Plan and management of the park, the Harbor Improvement Agency will maintain an advisory role for managing park operations. The Agency will provide comments and suggestions to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, as necessary. Those comments may address the use, maintenance and repair of the City’s docks, bulkhead, walkway, parking areas and other facilities at the park, as well as recommendations for new facilities. The Agency will identify any problems or conflicts affecting use of park facilities and opportunities for public access to the HMA and prepare appropriate recommendations to avoid or minimize those problems or conflicts.

  20. Evaluation and pursuit of opportunities for Harborpark expansion.

    Consistent with its responsibilities for initiating and implementing plans for development and beautification of the waterfront, including new park and recreation areas, the Harbor Improvement Agency will promote the beneficial expansion of Harborpark. To implement and reflect the City’s Waterfront Vision described in Chapter Four of the Harbor Management Plan, Harborpark expansion should provide a continuous public waterfront with centers of activity linked to the downtown. In coordination with the Mayor, Common Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and other City agencies, the Harbor Improvement Agency will have a leadership role for preparation of plans for public use and development of the City-owned Peterson oil and wastewater treatment plant properties.

  21. Detailed evaluation of potential site(s) for small craft launching; development of selected site(s).

    In coordination with other City departments and agencies, including the Public Works Department, Water and Sewer Department, Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Planning, Conservation and Development, the Harbor Improvement Agency may conduct a detailed evaluation of waterfront sites identified by the Agency as potentially suitable for development of public boat launching facilities (see Chapter Four of the Harbor Management Plan). The Agency may develop plans and cost estimates for development of those facilities, pursue available sources of development funds, apply for necessary State and Federal permits and generally be responsible for site development to meet recreational boating and emergency access needs.

  22. Review of Connecticut Department of Transportation plans for transportation improvements affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will review Department of Transportation plans affecting the Waterfront and Harbor Management Area including, but not limited to, plans for Route 9 and Route 66 improvements, as well as any DOT plans affecting the Arrigoni and railroad bridges across the HMA. The Agency will provide comments to the DOT, as necessary, concerning the potential impacts of those plans on the waterfront and HMA. For example, DOT plans for providing new acceleration lanes for the northbound Route 9 entrance ramp from Route 17 and Harbor Drive will require detailed review and comment, as will more long-range plans for Route 9 improvements as such plans may be proposed in the future. The Agency will maintain ongoing communication with the DOT plans on vehicle and pedestrian access to Harborpark, parking for Harborpark users and other conditions affecting public use and enjoyment of the waterfront and HMA.

  23. Coordination for implementing the Connecticut River Action Plan for the American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

    The Harbor Improvement Agency will serve as the City’s liaison with Federal, State and regional agencies and nongovernmental organizations for implementation of the Connecticut River Action Plan for the American Heritage River Initiative and specifically for implementation of the City’s Back to the Riverfront Revitalization Program included in the Action Plan. The Agency will pursue and help apply the resources and opportunities available to the City through the AHRI for implementing the Back to the Riverfront Revitalization Program as described in the Action Plan and Chapter Four of the Harbor Management Plan. Included are proposals for improving vehicle and pedestrian linkage between the Downtown and Harborpark. A summary of Middletown’s priority projects for implementation through the AHRI Action Plan is included in Appendix D of the Harbor Management Plan.

  24. Evaluation and pursuit of improved vehicle and pedestrian linkage between Downtown and the Connecticut River.

    To help achieve the City’s Waterfront Vision, the Harbor Improvement Agency will pursue initiatives for providing improved vehicle and pedestrian access between Downtown Middletown and the Connecticut River, including opportunities described in Chapter Six of the Harbor Management Plan for: a) improving the existing pedestrian tunnel; b) implementing the Harborpark Park pedestrian plaza over Route 9; and c) improving the Route 9 underpass at Union Street. The Agency will help to develop public support for these initiatives, oversee preparation of more detailed plans and cost estimates, pursue available sources of development funds, apply for necessary State and Federal permits and generally pursue project implementation, including implementation through the American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

OTHER CITY OF MIDDLETOWN AGENCIES

In addition to the Harbor Improvement Agency, a number of other City agencies have waterfront and harbor management related responsibilities as summarized in Chapter One of the Harbor Management Plan. These include the Planning and Zoning Commission, Department of Planning, Conservation and Development, Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Water and Sewer Department, Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department, Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency.

The Harbor Management Plan does not alter the authorities of these City agencies. The Plan requires, however, that all City agencies with waterfront and harbor management related responsibilities carry out those responsibilities in a manner consistent with the goals, objectives, policies and other provisions established in the Plan. The Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process will help to ensure this consistency.

City agencies other than the Harbor Improvement Agency have the following basic responsibilities for implementing the Middletown Harbor Management Plan:

  1. Referral of applications for activities affecting the Harbor Management Area to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and determination of consistency with the Harbor Management Plan.

    Each City agency with authority to approve a proposed action affecting real property on, in or contiguous to the Harbor Management Area should refer the application for that action to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and recommendations consistent with the Harbor Management Plan. In accordance with the City’s Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process, the application should be provided to the Agency at least thirty-five days prior to any public hearing held on the proposal or, if a hearing will not be held, prior to any final action taken by the approving City agency.

    As required by Section 22a–113p of the Connecticut General Statutes, if the Harbor Improvement Agency finds that an application is inconsistent with the Harbor Management Plan, then the application can not be approved unless the City agency with authority for approving it acts to over-ride the Harbor Improvement Agency’s finding by a two-thirds vote (instead of a simple majority). This “two-thirds” requirement does not alter the authority of the agency have primary jurisdiction over the proposal to deny, modify or condition a proposal that has received an unfavorable recommendation from the Harbor Improvement Agency.

    Each City agency affected by the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process should work with the Harbor Improvement Agency to establish appropriate procedures for providing applications to the Agency and to otherwise maintain coordination with the Agency.

    The Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process will be carried out to ensure that activities that will affect the HMA are consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and the City’s Waterfront Vision. The process will be carried out within the framework of the City’s existing review processes and not add additional review time to existing review processes.

  2. Design of City proposals affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan; referral of City proposals to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and determination of consistency with the Plan.

    Just as proposals from the private sector submitted to the City for approval should be consistent with the Harbor Management Plan, so should proposals prepared by the City. Each City agency should consult with the Harbor Improvement Agency when developing plans for City-sponsored projects or other initiatives that may affect the waterfront and/or Harbor Management Area. Plans for City-sponsored initiatives affecting the HMA should be submitted to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review as part of the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process. The purpose of this review should be to ensure that City-prepared proposals are consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and contribute to achievement of the City’s Waterfront Vision; the review should also serve to enhance communication and coordination among the involved City agencies.

  3. Conducting agency responsibilities in a manner consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and in a manner that contributes to Plan implementation. The following City agencies should carry out their following responsibilities affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area in a manner consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and in a manner that contributes to Plan implementation.
    • Planning and Zoning Commission and the Department of Planning, Conservation and Development Responsibilities:
      • Implementation and amendment, as necessary, of the City’s Plan of Conservation and Development (including Downtown development plans) as that Plan affects the waterfront and HMA;
      • Enforcement and amendment, as necessary, of the City’s Zoning Regulations as those regulations affect the waterfront;
      • Provision of staff support for the Harbor Improvement Agency;
      • Provision of information and technical support for waterfront improvement and harbor management projects;
      • Support, promotion and technical assistance for beneficial use and development of the waterfront and HMA, including Harborpark expansion, linkage between the Downtown and Connecticut River, rail and tour boat linkage with other Connecticut River municipalities, development of a water and waterfront open space and future use and development of the Riverfront Development Opportunity Area.
    • Health Department Responsibilities
      • Enforcement of public health, sanitary and nuisance codes to maintain environmental quality, including water, air and scenic quality on the waterfront and in the HMA..
    • Fire Department Responsibilities
      • Emergency response and coordination of emergency response activities, including response to oil and fuel spills, with the Police Department, Harbormaster, Connecticut DEP, Coast Guard and municipalities adjoining the HMA;
      • Review of waterfront development and development plans to ensure appropriate provisions for fire prevention and preparedness;
      • Assistance with coordination and monitoring of special water and waterfront events.
    • Water Pollution Control Authority and Water and Sewer Department Responsibilities
      • Management and operation of City sewerage system including wastewater treatment plant;
      • Management and operation of River Road wellfield and treatment plant;
      • Planning and other assistance for future development of public water access facilities on the present treatment plant sit (should that site be decommissioned in the future) and near the wellfield;
      • Documentation of rate of shoreline erosion at River Road well field.
    • Parks and Recreation Department Responsibilities
      • Maintenance of waterfront parks and open space, including Harborpark and pedestrian tunnel to Harborpark;
      • Scheduling of special waterfront events at Harborpark.
    • Public Works Department Responsibilities
      • Maintenance of storm drainage system and waterfront roadways;
      • Engineering assistance for evaluation of potential site(s) for public water access facilities and for design of facilities;
      • Assistance for reduction of nonpoint source pollution.
    • Conservation Department Responsibilities
      • Preparation of management plans for waterfront open space;
      • Support for development of water and waterfront trails.
STATE OF CONNECTICUT HARBORMASTER FOR MIDDLETOWN

The Middletown Harbormaster is appointed by the Governor of Connecticut and has the responsibilities described in the Connecticut General Statutes and Harbor Management Plan for the general care and supervision of the navigable waterways within the jurisdiction of the City of Middletown. These responsibilities are subject to the direction and control of the State’s Commissioner of Transportation acting through the Bureau of Aviation and Ports of the Department of Transportation (DOT). In addition, as required by Sections 15-1 and 22a-13k of the Connecticut General Statutes, respectively, the Harbormaster must conduct his or her duties in a manner consistent with the Middletown Harbor Management Plan and must serve as an ex-officio member of the City’s Harbor Management Commission (Harbor Improvement Agency).

The Harbormaster should work cooperatively with the Harbor Improvement Agency and perform an active role for waterfront and harbor management through:

  • Conducting all duties in a manner consistent with the Harbor Management Plan.

    The Harbormaster’s principal authorities are established in Section 15-1 through 15-10 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Section 15-1 requires that “……harbor masters or deputy harbor masters shall exercise their duties in a manner consistent with any harbor management plan adopted….. for a harbor over which they have jurisdiction.” Actions by the Middletown Harbormaster pursuant to his or her State-authorized responsibilities therefore must be consistent with the goals, objectives, policies and other provisions contained in the Middletown Harbor Management Plan. This requirement provides opportunity for the Harbormaster to work closely with the Harbor Improvement Agency and perform an active role for accomplishing the City’s harbor management goals and Waterfront Vision.

  • Serving ax ex-officio member of the Harbor Improvement Agency and generally assisting the Agency with implementation of the Harbor Management Plan.

    As required by Section 22a-113k of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Harbormaster shall serve as a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the Harbor Improvement Agency when the Agency acts in its capacity as the City’s Harbor Management Commission. The Harbormaster and Agency should work tighter to identify opportunities for the Harbormaster to perform an ongoing, active harbor management role, including assistance to the Agency as needed, for implementing the Harbor Management Plan. The Harbormaster, for example, should provide information to the Agency with respect to conditions in the Harbor Management Area and work on specific projects at the direction of the Agency to achieve waterfront improvement and harbor management goals. In effect, the Harbormaster should serve as the Agency’s “eyes and ears” on the waterfront and in the HMA. The Harbormaster should attend the Agency’s monthly meetings and provide a monthly report on his or her activities to the Agency.

  • Enforcement of boating laws and regulations in the Harbor Management Area in coordination with City, State and Federal law enforcement agencies.

    Section 15-154 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides authority to the State’s harbormasters and deputy harbormasters to enforce State boating statutes. In accordance with this authority, the Middletown Harbormaster should work in coordination with City, State and Federal law enforcement agencies to ensure proper enforcement of the State boating laws and regulations as they relate to use of the Middletown Harbor Management Area, and for communication of those statutes and regulations, as necessary, to the public. Further, as necessary for maintaining a safe and functional HMA environment, the Harbormaster should assist with any interpretations of the statutes and regulations as they apply to the HMA. This interpretation should be carried out, as necessary, in collaboration with the Harbor Improvement Agency, Middletown Police Department Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Department of Transportation and other involved agencies and departments.

    The Harbormaster should provide information and other appropriate assistance to City, State and Federal law enforcement agencies, as needed, to help maintain boating and navigation safety in the Connecticut River at Middletown. For example, the Harbormaster should advise the Middletown Police Department, the Connecticut DEP’s Law Enforcement Division, Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard of any problems concerning enforcement of City, State and/or Federal laws and regulations in the Harbor Management Area.

    The Harbormaster should enforce State boating laws and regulations to the extent legally authorized and qualified to do so. The Harbormaster should not engage in arrests or other enforcement actions that may present a risk of personal injury if he or she is not certified by the State of Connecticut as law enforcement officer. The Harbormaster should call upon the Middletown Police Department or State or Federal law enforcement authority as necessary for assistance in situations involving potential arrest or threatening confrontation.

    a. Enforcement and interpretation of the Connecticut boating statutes and regulations concerning removal of abandoned and derelict vessels.

    In accordance with Section 15-140c of the Connecticut General Statutes, any vessel “not moored, anchored or made fast to the shore and unattended for a period greater than 24 hours, or left (upon private property) without the consent of said property owner for a period greater than twenty-four hours” shall be presumed abandoned. Acting in coordination with the Harbor Improvement Agency, Middletown Police Department, and other appropriate agencies or departments as necessary, the Harbormaster should enforce the provisions of this statute in the Harbor Management Area. In accordance with Section 15-140c, all expenses necessarily incurred in the removal of an abandoned vessel shall be a lien upon that vessel.

    If, in the Harbormaster’s judgment, an abandoned or derelict vessel causing a hazard or obstruction to persons, property aquatic resources or navigation has no resale value, that vessel should be removed in accordance with authority provided by Section 15-11a of the Connecticut General Statutes. In the event of an emergency or hazardous situation caused by an abandoned vessel, the Harbormaster may request that the Harbor Improvement Agency allocate funds from the City’s Harbor Management Account for the immediate removal of the abandoned vessel.

  • Provision of information concerning boating laws and regulations, the Harbor Management Plan and other waterfront and harbor-related topics to the general public.

    The Harbormaster should assist the Harbor Improvement Agency with provision of information to the general public, including persons who directly contact the Harbormaster to ask questions or request information. Information provided by the Harbormaster may concern applicable boating laws and regulations, conditions in the Harbor Management Area, provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and other information intended to maintain boating safety and environmental quality and increase public awareness and support for the City’s waterfront improvement and harbor management efforts.

  • Ongoing communication with City, State and Federal agencies for waterfront improvement and harbor management purposes.

    In addition to communication and coordination with the Harbor Improvement Agency, Middletown Police Department and other relevant City agencies, the Harbormaster should establish and maintain regular communication, as necessary, with various divisions and units of the Connecticut DEP, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aviation and Ports, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and other State and Federal agencies with harbor management responsibilities. The purpose of this liaison should be to address matters affecting the safe and functional use of the Harbor Management Area and to otherwise advance the City’s waterfront improvement and harbor management goals. STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH HARBOR MANAGEMENT AUTHORITIES

    The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard are the principal State and Federal agencies with harbor management authorities as summarized in Chapter One of the Harbor Management Plan. To the extent permitted by law, these and other State and Federal agencies should carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of the Middletown Harbor Management Plan and generally cooperate with the Harbor Improvement Agency for Plan implementation.

    The basic State and Federal responsibilities for Plan implementation should include:

    1. Review and approval of the Middletown Harbor Management Plan and any future Plan amendments needed to respond to changing conditions and circumstances.

      Section 22a – 113m of the Connecticut General Statutes specifies the procedure for approval and adoption of municipal harbor management plans. In accordance with this procedure, the Middletown Harbor Management Plan and any future amendments to the Plan, must be reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, approved by the Connecticut commissioners of environmental protection and transportation, and then adopted by the Middletown Common Council before becoming effective.

      So that the City of Middletown may plan and manage use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area in accordance with the legislative intent of the Connecticut Harbor Management Act, the Connecticut commissioners of environmental protection and transportation should approve the Middletown Harbor Management Plan which will serve as the City’s principal guide (in coordination with the Middletown Plan of Conservation and Development) for beneficial use of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area and protection of environmental quality in the HMA. Any appropriate Plan amendments that may be prepared by the Harbor Improvement Agency in the future should also be reviewed and approved by the commissioners according to the same procedure used to approve the Plan.

      In addition, any revisions to the Middletown Code pertaining to the operation of vessels and adopted by the City’s Common Council to implement provisions of the Harbor Management Plan must be submitted to the DEP’s Boating Division for review and approval as required by Section 15-136 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

      In the future, State and Federal agencies may provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with information and suggestions for Plan amendments that may be needed to address new and changing circumstances in the HMA.

    2. Referral of applications and proposals affecting the Harbor Management Area to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and determination of consistency with the Harbor Management Plan; consideration of the Agency’s consistency findings in State and Federal review and decision-making processes.

      The placement of all structures (including docks, piers, pilings, bulkheads and aids to navigation) in the Harbor Management Area as well as any dredging and filling of aquatic areas must be authorized by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Corps of Engineers. When conducting their separate State and Federal regulatory programs, the DEP and Corps should send the public notices of applications for in-water structures, dredging, or filling in the HMA to the Harbor Improvement Agency. (Applicants for DEP permits will be required to provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with a copy of the full permit application submitted to the DEP prior to or at the same time as the applicant submits the application to the DEP). The Agency will formally review those applications, determine their consistency with the Harbor Management Plan and comment to the DEP and Corps of Engineers on the consistency of each application with the Plan. In their review and decision-making processes, the DEP and Corps of Engineers should, to the maximum extent permissible in accordance with State and Federal law, give primary consideration to the Agency’s consistency findings and recommendations.

      Regarding any permit application submitted to the DEP and/or Corps, those agencies should provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with sufficient information to enable the Agency to make an informed decision on the consistency of the application with the Plan. The Agency should be provided with a copy of any permit issued by the DEP or Corps for filling, dredging or placement of structures in the HMA.

      In addition to proposals affecting the HMA and submitted to State and Federal agencies for approval, proposals prepared by State and Federal agencies and affecting real property on, in, or contiguous to the HMA should also be designed for consistency with the Harbor Management Plan and should be provided to the Harbor Improvement Agency for review and comment.

    3. Coordination and cooperation with the Harbor Improvement Agency for implementing the Harbor Management Plan.

      State and Federal agencies should recognize the Harbor Management Plan as the City’s principal guide (in coordination with the City’s Plan of Conservation and Development) for safe and beneficial use of the Middletown Harbor Management Area and protection of environmental quality in the HMA. The Department of Environmental Protection, Corps of Engineers and other State and Federal agencies should apply their planning as well as regulatory programs in a manner to assist the Harbor Improvement Agency with Plan implementation. The State and Federal agencies should provide information and technical assistance to the Harbor Improvement Agency, as necessary, for the purpose of achieving the Plan’s goals and other provisions. In addition, State and Federal grant programs, including programs applied through the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, should be used to help implement special projects to achieve the City’s Waterfront Vision.

    THE GENERAL PUBLIC, WATERFRONT PROPERTY OWNERS AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

    Private citizens and organizations also should contribute to implementation of the Harbor Management Plan. Everyone must adhere to City, State and Federal laws and regulations pertaining to use of the Harbor Management Area. In addition, there are a number of voluntary (non-regulatory) waterfront improvement and harbor management initiatives that can be carried out by City residents, waterfront property owners, the operators of water-dependent facilities, civic-minded organizations and others.

    Concerned citizens and organizations should contribute to waterfront improvement and harbor management efforts and to implementation of the Harbor Management Plan through:

    1. Design of proposals affecting the waterfront and Harbor Management Area to be consistent with the Harbor Management Plan.

      The design of projects that would affect the waterfront and Harbor Management Area should be consistent with the goals, objectives, policies and other provisions of the Harbor Management Plan. Project proponents should discuss their conceptual plans with the Harbor Improvement Agency prior to preparing final plans and permit applications. This sort of “pre-application” consultation should be used to help reduce development costs by avoiding the expenditure of funds on projects not likely to be consistent with the Harbor Management Plan. Pre-application consultation should also, to the extent feasible, address opportunities for waterfront development projects to incorporate public amenities.

      In the course of the Waterfront and Harbor Management Review Process, project proponents should present their completed proposals to the Agency and may appear before the Agency to address any questions concerning the proposed project. It should be the responsibility of project applicants to provide the Agency with the information necessary to adequately assess the potential impacts of proposed projects on the HMA and the consistency of such proposals with the Harbor Management Plan. In accordance with State requirements, applicants for Department of Environmental Protection permits will be required to provide the Harbor Improvement Agency with a copy of the full permit application submitted to the DEP prior to or at the same time as the applicant submits the application to the DEP.

    2. Expression of waterfront and harbor management related interests or concerns to the Harbor Improvement Agency.

      Interested and concerned citizens should attend the regularly scheduled and special meetings of the Harbor Improvement Agency, including an annual State of the Waterfront meeting that may be convened by the Agency, to increase their awareness of waterfront and harbor management considerations. At those meetings, citizens should express any interests or concerns related to the waterfront, Harbor Management Area and Harbor Management Plan. Observed violations of boating laws, evidence of pollution and other actions adversely impacting the waterfront and HMA may be reported to the Agency, Harbormaster, Police Department or other appropriate authority at any time.

    3. Voluntary assistance to help achieve waterfront improvement and harbor management goals.

      There are a number of voluntary initiatives for managing and enhancing the waterfront and Harbor Management Area that may be carried out by City residents, waterfront property owners and private organizations. Waterfront property owners, for example, have an important responsibility to contribute to the maintenance of clean, safe and attractive conditions on the waterfront and in the HMA. Sites and structures near and adjoining the HMA should be maintained in a manner that enhances opportunities for beneficial waterfront and HMA use and preserves waterfront scenic quality. Voluntary, community-based efforts such as may be organized by the Harbor Improvement Agency to improve the environmental quality of the waterfront and HMA should be encouraged and supported by waterfront property owners.

      City residents and others who use the waterfront and HMA may volunteer to participate in special events and other efforts that may be organized from time to time by the Harbor Improvement Agency and other to increase environmental awareness and maintain and improve the quality of the City’s waterfront and HMA. Special events may be organized to clean up public waterfront spaces, other waterfront locations (along Harbor Road, for example) and stream corridors (the banks of Sumner Brook, for example). Volunteer participation will be essential to the success of such clean-up events.

      In addition, the operators of commercial waterfront facilities can assist the City with waterfront improvement and harbor management efforts, including efforts to educate the boating public regarding proper use of the HMA and the need to protect environmental quality in the HMA. In particular, operators of the Harborpark Restaurant and any excursion vessels that may use waterfront facilities at Middletown are particularly knowledgeable concerning conditions in the HMA and interact with the general public on a regular daily basis. As a result, they can provide information to residents and well as visiting boaters and to persons interested in the natural history and ecology of the Connecticut River. Information made available to restaurant and excursion boat patrons may include materials to increase boater awareness of the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan and other information pertaining to the waterfront and HMA. Also, when it may be necessary for the City to obtain information concerning the needs and opinions of visiting boaters and other users of the HMA, restaurant and excursion boat operators may help distribute and collect questionnaires to obtain this information.

    4. Development of increased awareness of waterfront and Harbor Management Area resources, potential impacts on those resources and provisions of the Harbor Management Plan.

      Increased public awareness may be developed in a number of ways, including: attendance and participation at meetings of the Harbor Improvement Agency and other City agencies; voluntary participation in projects aimed at maintaining and enhancing the environmental quality of the waterfront and Harbor Management Area; and becoming aware of and reading reports, studies and articles pertaining to waterfront improvement and harbor management topics.

      Of much significance for the long-term beneficial use and management of the waterfront and HMA, private citizens and civic-minded organizations should recognize the Connecticut, Mattabesset and Coginchaug rivers and their adjoining public lands as “public trust” resources that belong to everyone and as such are vital resources for the enter City. Expression of the recognition should serve as a constant reminder to public officials of their responsibility to mange the waterfront and HMA for the use and benefit of future generations.

      In addition, the public, including waterfront property owners, should recognize that seemingly minor actions can, when added over time to similar actions, have significantly adverse cumulative impacts on the waterfront and HMA. All citizens, no matter how environmentally conscious, should become more aware of the impacts their actions may have on environmental quality, navigation and other waterfront and HMA conditions. At the same time, all citizens can contribute to efforts to enhance environmental quality and improve other conditions on the City’s waterfront and in the HMA. For example, all citizens can contribute to reducing nonpoint source (NPS) pollution just be increasing their awareness and understanding of how everyday activities can contribute to NPS pollution in the Connecticut River watershed.

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